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An open letter to the San Mateo County Officials in response to public out cry concerning the development of a small airport in our neighborhood.

San Carlos Airport
March 2001

My name is Chris Fenwick, I have lived in the Bay Area since 1972 (San Mateo), and Redwood City Since 1988. As a teenager in the 70's I lost a childhood friend to an accident at the San Carlos airport. He was in a small plan with a pilot that was irresponsible and crashed while taking off. The plane came down right next to the freeway.

I bring this up to let you know that I am not immune to the risk of what an airport represents but given that knowledge of the airport I STILL bought my home in Redwood Shores. I am one of the countless people that live in the Shores, is aware of the airport, may even enjoy the airport, but certainly don't expect that, since I now live here that "surely the airport must go".

It is shocking to me that there is this small group of very vocal opponents to... well, just about anything, who are trying to close an institution of this county just because for the past 3, 5, 10, or 20 years they chose to buy their home under an airport that has been teaching students to fly since at least 1916... good grief Charlie Brown that's 85 years.

So these people want to complain that A. there is an airport there, and B. now the airport might want to grow to a state to better serve it's community. Again, if you don't want to live next to an airport why did you buy your home under TWO airports (San Carlos AND SFO).

I, for one, welcome the idea of commuter flights in and out of San Carlos. I fly often for business and would welcome the idea of not needing to go to SFO or San Jose just to catch a quick day trip to John Wayne or Burbank. I could, effectively "walk" to Burbank.... how cool is that?

Now, one last thought that you, as a public servant must consider as you stand in the fire of the Redwood Shores [bullies]. Consider the source of the recent attacks in The Shoreline, (By the way, this is the type of trash that professional printers and typesetters feared would crop up after the introduction of Desktop Publishing in the mid 80's).

The Shoreline is just a bunch of bored grumpy people with a voice, who circle like vultures, looking for some issue to attack. Today it's the Airport Expansion, yesterday is was "parking in perpetuity" for a church, before that is was the closing of the levees to a small group of people that like to go on nature walks and then there is the hunting on Bair Island. Whatever it is
they will pounce on the issue, write a bunch of letters claiming they speak for the community and then try to scare public officials.

I would ask you to attempt to read through an entire issue of The Shoreline, I,. personally, am particularly offended by the collection of derogatory and sometimes racial jokes and "internet findings" that are found in the back of the junk mail that they call The Shoreline. I, unfortunately have been dragged into this thing we will call "neighborhood politics". Every month I am drawn to the publication like The Shoreline and The Pilot just to see what ridiculous stand the "grumps" are taking this month.

I have been making informal, casual polls of some of my neighbors and I am pleased that so many of them do not become as enraged as I do. Most of them "glance" at the junk mail and then trash it, some don't even read it at all. I wish I could take that stance and rid myself of this "burden" but for now I will take it upon myself to try to allow the elected officials of Redwood City and San Mateo County to see this....

THERE IS NO NEED TO FEAR THESE PEOPLE. They are a minority and they have a desktop publishing program.

Chris Fenwick
Director/Lead Designer
Broadcast Business Graphics